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Week 1 - Introduction to Documentary illustration

Updated: Apr 28, 2023

The illustrator conveys a narrative and reports a specific moment in time to the audience, much like a journalist. The central premise of reportage illustration is storytelling.

This achieved through observing, selecting, conveying an impression and reflecting.

To illustrate stories are everywhere, learning to capture them is where the magic lies.

I think this definition of documentary illustration revels the essence of documentary illustration capturing story telling is key.

Looking some of the illustrator who observe everyday life, I observed daily life on

university campus - the library, Forum and smoking area. Just observing daily life helped me focus on noticing unique details of individuals. I tend to notice people who are really absorbed in the activity that they are engaged e.g studying, chatting and eating with other students or alone.


While observing and drawing, I got a general impression of the surroundings and people and eagerness got the better of me and started drawing. This impacted negatively on my image-making process. I was in a rush to get the linework down without paying attention to proportionality. I had struggled in the life drawing classes in the life drawing classes and it was something I was conscious of.

Positive points

Although not happy with many of my life observational life drawings on campus, I preserved and reassured myself that practising I would be quicker at getting life drawing onto the page and that my drawing would improve.


Taking a moment and absorbing the surroundings is really important - absorbing the mood and atmosphere.

Being patient - human figures are not where I want them to be right now but with practice and time I will get better.

I will find the stories and they will emerge in drawings and to trust in the creative process and your ability.

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